What Employers Look For In a Candidate

Have you ever wondered what employers really look for in their candidates? Sure, employers post job openings, but they usually only contain the experience candidates are required to have. So, what else does an employer look for in an ideal candidate?

Working as an HR administrator at 10Fold, I have become very familiar with what we look for in candidates – and I’m sharing my insights in the hope that they help you land your next dream gig!

Our company’s core values are T.A.F.F.I. – and no, I’m not talking about the candy.

T stands for Teamwork – And we mean that sincerely. Everyone helps each other succeed, and most importantly, we’re not set up to compete against one another.

A for accountability – We all hold ourselves accountable for our assigned tasks (as we should), and we agree to communicate if we are unable to meet a deadline.

F for fun – We love to throw a hell of an offsite! Our offsite sessions include fun group activities that help us get to know each other better and have a blast. And “wine-thirty” is a thing!

F for fascination We want our team to be curious and interested in our clients’ solutions and business models, and the skills related to communications.

I for integrity – Embodying integrity is big for us: it’s noticed when employees are faced with a difficult situation and are honest and do the right thing.

Three other factors we consider are:

  1. Gets it” – meaning the candidate has an understanding of the industry and knows how to do the job;
  2. “Wants it” – meaning the candidate expressed interest, maybe sent a follow up thank you note, or otherwise showed enthusiasm for working with us; and
  3. “Has the capacity” – meaning we saw proficiency test results (as part of our interview process) that suggest the candidate could handle the job they are applying for.

These are the fundamental qualities that we look for in each candidate we consider, because we know these elements make all the difference to our team members – ensuring they can be successful. But don’t just take our word on the ideal candidate – we’ve also included info from other sources that may help you land the big one! 

First, we encourage you to read a blog from a friend of 10Fold (Kevin Indig), which he posted after joining G2 a few months ago: I’m joining G2 as VP SEO and Content! He shares many great insights, but my favorite was a warning against job hopping. Let’s face it, many of us are early on in our careers, and an extra $5,000 a year can go a long way. Kevin’s advice, though, is to resist the temptation to continually change jobs, because ultimately it’s hard to learn and build skills when you are constantly getting up to speed in a new organization. And on top of that, employers are turned off by serial job-hoppers. But that’s not all Kevin said, and his blog is definitely worth a read!

Still hungry for more? Following are ideas from a Forbes article by Liz Ryan on snagging a great job.

  1. Someone who knows their strengths…

Simply put, let employers know you are a master of tools that are relevant to the job you are interviewing for. As an example, if you are in PR, expressing your knowledge of Cision, Meltwater or Brandwatch could be compelling. Furthermore, sharing details on your close relationships with members of the media (including specific stories you have secured) would be impressive.

  • Someone who knows what they want in their career…

Like employees, employers want stability – and they need to make sure that a candidate isn’t planning to leave after only a few months to move onto the next job. Giving the employer an idea of what you are looking for and how long you’d like to stay is a great approach to take.

  • Someone who is flexible

Having flexibility is a great quality, because you never know when there may be a last minute change at work that requires you to take on new responsibilities. Employers (usually) love employees who are open to new things, and oftentimes employers will then offer the employee additional growth opportunities.

  • Someone who is eager to learn…

Showing your employer that you are diving in and researching clients, tools, and industry terms can really stand out to an employer, as it underscores that you are excited about your career.

  • …And someone who is ambitious!
    Actively working on your growth by demonstrating an interest in moving up is a great signal for most employers. They’ll gain the peace of mind that you are committed to growing with the company, and you’re serious about carving out a meaningful career.

Considering the job market in many areas (especially technology) is geared towards job seekers at the moment, you may not be too concerned about improving your skills and approach. However, most good things in life require effort, so keep in mind that the best jobs are almost always the toughest to get. So hopefully these tips will help you land your ideal job and launch a very prosperous career!